Endothelial dysfunction is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and it represents the initial step in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Failure to protect against oxidative stress-induced cellular damage accounts for endothelial dysfunction in the majority of pathophysiological conditions. Numerous antioxidant pathways are involved in cellular redox homeostasis, among which the nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)/Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1)-antioxidant response element (ARE) signaling pathway is perhaps the most prominent. Nrf2, a transcription factor with a high sensitivity to oxidative stress, binds to AREs in the nucleus and promotes the transcription of a wide variety of antioxidant genes. Nrf2 is located in the cytoskeleton, adjacent to Keap1. Keap1 acts as an adapter for cullin 3/ring-box 1-mediated ubiquitination and degradation of Nrf2, which decreases the activity of Nrf2 under physiological conditions. Oxidative stress causes Nrf2 to dissociate from Keap1 and to subsequently translocate into the nucleus, which results in its binding to ARE and the transcription of downstream target genes. Experimental evidence has established that Nrf2-driven free radical detoxification pathways are important endogenous homeostatic mechanisms that are associated with vasoprotection in the setting of aging, atherosclerosis, hypertension, ischemia, and cardiovascular diseases. The aim of the present review is to briefly summarize the mechanisms that regulate the Nrf2/Keap1-ARE signaling pathway and the latest advances in understanding how Nrf2 protects against oxidative stress-induced endothelial injuries. Further studies regarding the precise mechanisms by which Nrf2-regulated endothelial protection occurs are necessary for determining whether Nrf2 can serve as a therapeutic target in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.
Mitochondrial dysfunction is a key feature of injury to numerous tissues and stem cell aging. Although the tissue regenerative role of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)derived extracellular vesicles (MSC-EVs) is well known, their specific role in regulating mitochondrial function in target cells remains elusive. Here, we report that MSC-EVs attenuated mtDNA damage and inflammation after acute kidney injury (AKI) and that this effect was at least partially dependent on the mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) pathway. In detail, TFAM and mtDNA were depleted by oxidative stress in MSCs from aged or diabetic donors. Higher levels of TFAM mRNA and mtDNA were detected in normal control (NC) MSC-EVs than in TFAM-knockdown (TFAM-KD) and aged EVs. EV-mediated TFAM mRNA transfer in recipient cells was unaffected by transcriptional inhibition. Accordingly, the application of MSC-EVs restored TFAM protein and TFAM-mtDNA complex (nucleoid) stability, thereby reversing mtDNA deletion and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) defects in injured renal tubular cells. Loss of TFAM also led to downregulation of multiple anti-inflammatory miRNAs and proteins in MSC-EVs. In vivo, intravenously injected EVs primarily accumulated in the liver, kidney, spleen, and lung. MSC-EVs attenuated renal lesion formation, mitochondrial damage, and inflammation in mice with AKI, whereas EVs from TFAM-KD or aged MSCs resulted in poor therapeutic outcomes. Moreover, TFAM overexpression (TFAM-OE) improved the rescue effect of MSC-EVs on mitochondrial damage and inflammation to some extent. This study suggests that MSC-EVs are promising nanotherapeutics for diseases characterized by mitochondrial damage, and TFAM signaling is essential for maintaining their regenerative capacity.
We presented here the baseline values of clinical chemistry and hematology parameters in normal Chinese rhesus monkeys. These data may provide valuable information for veterinarians and investigators using rhesus monkeys in experimental studies.
Background: Pyroptosis is a novel programmed cell death. It is identified as caspase-1 dependent and characterized by plasma-membrane rupture and release of proinflammatory intracellular contents inculuding IL-1 beta and IL-18. Pyroptosis is distinct from other forms of cell death, especially apoptosis that is characterized by nuclear and cytoplasmic condensation and is elicited via activation of a caspase cascade. In pyroptosis, gasdermin D (GSDMD) acts as a major executor, while NLRP3 related inflammasome is closely linked to caspase-1 activation. Given that pyroptosis has played a critical role in the progression of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), here, we investigated whether the regulation of pyroptosis activation is responsible for the protective role of monounsaturated oleic acids in the context of hepatocellular lipotoxicity. Methods: Human hepatoma cell line HepG2 cells were exposed to palmitic acid (PA) with or without oleic acids (OA) or/and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress inhibitor tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) for 24 h. Besides, the cells were treated with the chemical ER stressor tunicamycin (TM) with or without OA for 24 h as well. The expressions of pyroptosis and ER stress related genes or proteins were determined by real-time PCR, Western blot or immunofluorescence. The morphology of pyroptosis was detected by acridine orange and ethidium bromide (AO/EB) staining. The release of IL-1 beta and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) was determined by ELISA. Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were fed with high fat diet (HFD) for 16 w, then, HFD was half replaced by olive oil to observe the protective effects of olive oil. The blood chemistry were analyzed, and the liver histology and the expressions of related genes and proteins were determined in the liver tissues. Results: We demonstrated that PA impaired the cell viability and disturbed the lipid metabolism of HepG2 cells (P < 0.01), but OA robustly rescued cells from cell death (P < 0.001). More importantly, we found that instead of cell apoptosis, PA induced significant pyroptosis, evidenced by remarkably increased mRNA and protein expressions of inflammasome marker NLRP3, Caspase-1 and IL-1beta, as well as cell membrane perforation driving protein GSDMD (P < 0.05). Furthermore, we demonstrated that the PA stimulated ER stress was causally related to pyroptosis. The enhanced expressions of ER stress markers CHOP and BIP were found subcellular co-located to pyroptosis markers NLRP3 and ASC. Additionally,TM was able to induce pyroptosis like PA did, and ER stress inhibitor TUDCA was able to inhibit both PA and TM induced ER stress as well as pyroptosis. Furthermore, we demonstrated that OA substantially alleviated either PA or TM induced ER stress and pyroptosis in HepG2 cells (P < 0.01). In vivo, only olive oil supplementation did not cause significant toxicity, while HFD for 32 w obviously induced liver steatosis and inflammation in SD rats (P < 0.05). Half
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